Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Entocycle

Computer vision, automation, and machine learning boost insect farming

Food & Drink

A technology company is using artificial intelligence to scale-up insect farming and create a sustainable protein source

Spotted: Experts are becoming increasingly concerned about how the world’s growing population will be fed in an equitable and sustainable way. One solution is edible insects – both for human consumption, and as pet food in order to help free up land and resources. Insects require far less space and fewer resources to farm than other proteins like beef or chicken, but producing them en masse has proved challenging so far. Tech company Entocycle is using innovative technology to help. 

The London-based startup uses smart technology to help insect farms work efficiently and sustainably (and manage billions of insects at any one time). Its technology aims to help farms improve accuracy, efficiency, and enable less need for manual involvement, such as by measuring populations in a farm to automate food requirements and controlling the temperature to optimise insect health.

The company focuses on black soldier fly farms, an insect that grows very rapidly – and can survive on food waste. They contain all the nutrients humans need for good health, including more zinc and iron than lean meat, and more calcium than milk.  

Entocycle recently raised $5 million (around €4.7 million) in a recent Series A funding round, which the startup will use to expand the commercial roll-out of its products and services. 

Entocycle is not alone in developing technology to help make insect-growing a viable and sustainable operation. Springwise has also spotted vertical mealworm farms that produce plant and animal feed, and AI-powered insect microfarms.

Written By: Jessica Bradley




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